One questions I am often asked when I travel abroad is “what is Cars and Coffee really like, is it as impressive as it seems?”. The answer is always yes. Most people that have never experienced the now world famous Cars and Coffee in Irvine California have a hard time comprehending that it’s possible to assemble such a great collection of cars every week. While some weekends are better than others, the parking lot is usually full by 7am with cars often being turned away ..and that means over 500 cars.
Cars and Coffee as it exists today is the evolution of the early Saturday morning car meet that started at Crystal Cove in 2003. Prior to this, many enthusiasts with European, Imports and Exotics had been attending the famous Donut Derelict Saturday morning hot rod show in Huntington Beach but the event was crowded. A new location was needed and Crystal Cove provided the ideal spot. The location, situated along the famous Pacific Coast Highway between Corona Del Mar and Laguna Beach was almost surreal with the Pacific Ocean on one side and Multi million dollar homes on the other. Gear heads could get their fix of cars and coffee and be home by 10:00am. After three years, the local residents and property owners had seen enough cars and the event was destined to end. But John Clinard, local Ford PR boss stepped in and moved the event to its current location at Ford’s West coast office.
Cars start rolling in before 6:30am and the lot is full soon thereafter. Certain weekends bring out gatherings of specific brands or clubs and it’s not unusual to see a race car trailered in. It’s not just about cars, the motorcycles always turnout in decent numbers too. Many of the cars and owners that show up are regulars but there is always something new or unusual to see. Even if you drive in with the same car every week, there is always someone new that has never seen your car before and is thrilled to talk about it. It’s not just about the cars but also about friendship, family, and enjoying the finer things in life.